Public engagement activity at Explorathon
On 30 September 2016, our team of public engagers took to a street in Aberdeen to run 'Explorachoc' as part of the University's annual Explorathon/European Researchers' Night, which involves an exciting series of activities and events hosted across the city.
This year, following a foray into public engagement at the May Festival, where we piloted a series of health services research-related activities, we designed and ran a two-arm trial. We enticed passers though Aberdeen's 'golden zone', so-called for its high footfall, to participate in ‘Explorachoc’. We used coloured balls and chocolates to: demonstrate the randomisation process used in clinical trials; engage members of the public in conversations about clinical trials and health services research to solicit their perceptions and views; and recruit to a public involvement panel. We also used costumes and props to re-enact James Lind’s scurvy trial.
As well as having a lot of fun, we engaged with some ~500 people, had over 300 participants in 'Explorachoc' and recruited more than 70 volunteers to be contacted for follow up involvement in our research.